How drones can benefit Dubai? Tweet your suggestions

How drones can benefit Dubai? Tweet your suggestions

Dubai - Using the hashtag #DP_DronesFuture, members of the public have been sharing their ideas.


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Published: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:39 AM

Get your Dubai drone licence in five steps1. Register your drone by sharing your company details on the DCAA website
2. After registering your drone, login and apply for a No Objection Certification for aerial work by following details on this page.
3. Share details of your drone flight - date, time, contact details of the drone operator.
4. Depending on the commercial activity of the drone flight, submit a copy of approval obtained from the relevant authority. For filming, this would usually be Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) who in turn get approvals from the Ministry of Defence. Fees are around 3,300 and upwards depending on filming location.
5. For reducing the processing time to five working days, you could pay an additional online fee of Dh5,100 to DCAA.
Once your permit has been issued, you could use your drone for aerial filming.
Following calls for suggestions on Twitter, Dubai Police have been inundated with innovative ideas on how best to use drones to reduce traffic congestion, provide security and respond to emergencies in the future.
Using the hashtag #DP_DronesFuture, members of the public have been sharing their ideas, which range from using drones to monitor areas of heavy traffic to using them to quickly provide assistance in the event of the emergency.
One Dubai resident, who identifies himself as Murtaza Ali, called on Dubai Police to "use drones to identify traffic congestion quickly and regulate signals based on traffic conditions."
"Send traffic police to regulate traffic once a congestion is identified or help and clean accident sites quickly," Ali added.
In a handwritten note posted on Twitter, another user - Rayan - said he believed that drones could also be used to detect speeders, lane violators and reckless drivers, as well as provide water, fuel, or even tire air pumps for drivers in need.
Also read: How to get your Dubai drone licence
Another Twitter user, Sarah Z, suggested that drones could even be used as replacements for police officers to respond to relatively minor incidents.
"Use drones as virtual police officers for minor accidents, (with) ID scanners, data input terminals and live video chat," she wrote.
Additionally, Sarah also noted the possibility of "fire extinguishing via drone" to minimize the risk to fire fighting personnel responding to incidents, and that drones could be used to locate people lost in the mountains or to deliver medical aid and disaster relief supplies to residents in areas that are cut off by wadi flooding.
Sarah's other suggestions included using drones to provide aerial vision for security at large events, and to monitor for possible stampedes, locate survivors in building fires to better direct response teams to their location, as mobile WiFi hotspots in disaster situations, and as "armed aerial escort" for VIP delegations, which would eliminate the need for road closures which impact traffic.
Also read: 5 ways how not to fly a drone in Dubai
Several users suggested that specially equipped drone's could fly over cities to identify criminals and help police swiftly capture them.
"Chase criminals through drones equipped with video capture (technology), thermal sensors and face recognition technology," tweeted Ashiq JA. He also added that drones can be used to monitor the operations of school buses and help watch over children.
Drone technology is not new for Dubai Police, who in 2014 unveiled a prototype for a speed-radar equipped drone.
Similarly, during UAE Innovation Week in November 2016, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that drones will be deployed to check for accidents and inspect the conditions of roads and public transport stations, beginning in mid-2017.
According to Khaled Al Awadhi, RTA's director of Automated Collection Systems, the drones will sent live traffic feeds to RTA, who will then use push notifications (via apps and social media) to inform the public of road hotspots. Additionally, the drones will be used to inform the motorists of available parking spaces and conduct structural analysis of RTA buildings, metro and tram stations and other RTA infrastructure.
However, RTA noted that its drones will not be used to report on traffic and road violations, as this is under the purview of the police, according to Al Awadhi.
 Tips for smart drone flights
DON'T FLY NEAR AIRPORTS: Drones can interfere with commercial aircraft, and can cause severe safety issues in some cases. General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) regulations prohibit the flying of drones near, around or over airports.
OBTAIN PROPER PERMITS: According to GCAA regulations, all drones must be registered with the authority. If you are flying a drone in Dubai for commercial reasons, then you will need to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the DCAA. This can only be obtained after you are registered with and approved by a related authority, usually the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC).
DON'T FLY OVER RESIDENTIAL AREAS: For reasons of privacy, the federal and municipal authorities forbid the flying of drones over residential areas.
OBTAIN PERMISSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHS: Privacy comes into play here too, as do restrictions on snapping some government buildings. Check with the GCAA or DCAA for more details.
DO ENSURE IT IS IN SIGHT: Drones must always be kept within visual sight of the operator, only fly during daylight and at no higher than 400ft (122m) above ground level.
INFORM IN CASE OF AN ACCIDENT: If there is an accident, the operator must inform the GCAA.
ENSURE UPMOST SAFETY WHEN FLYING: For the protection of people, the drone cannot fly within 200 metres of a person or building and cannot be flown overhead of groups of people at any height.
FLY WITHIN AN AVIATION CLUB: Drones weighing more than 5kg should be flown within the perimeters of licensed aviation clubs.
SEEK ADVICE FROM THE GOVERNMENT: To ensure you do not commit any offences as an active drone operator, your best bet is to consult with the DCAA or GCAA first.
Recent drone incidents
September 2016: In a two-day span, two pilots reported close encounters with drones near Statford Municipal Airport in Canada.
June 2016: A drone forced the closure of Dubai International Airport for 69 minutes.
April 2016: Drone strikes British Airways plane at Heathrow Airport. At approximately 12.50am, a pilot on an inbound flight into Heathrow Airport from Geneva reported to police that he believed a drone had struck the aircraft.
March 2016: A drone came within a close range of 200 feet of hitting a Lufthansa jet near Los Angeles International Airport on March 18. The pilot of a Lufthansa A380 approaching the airport reported that a drone passed about overhead around 1.30pm.
January 2015: Recreational drones forced the closure of Dubai airport for 55 minutes after they veered dangerously close to the flight path of commercial airliners. As a result, some aircraft had to be diverted to Al Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali. 

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